Reaching In To Help Out: Relationships Between HCH Projects and Jails
Jail inmates and detainees — more than 11 million adults in the U.S. each year — are entitled to shelter, regular meals and health care services while incarcerated. It’s the law. What happens upon their release is another story. Some have family and friends waiting for them. Others are referred to community treatment programs for substance abuse or to transitional housing. But far too many find themselves without resources and unable to meet their basic needs.
Without housing, they live in shelters, abandoned buildings, and on the street. In a recent study of persons staying in public shelters in New York City, 33 percent had entered a shelter within a week of being released from jail. For some, shelter stays alternate with incarceration resulting in prolonged periods of residential instability. All too often, homelessness increases the risk of incarceration and incarceration increases the risk of homelessness. (Author)
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